Whereis® iPhone Application - Sensis Pty Ltd
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Product Manager: Scott Furey Producer: Rocco Marinelli Designers: Matthew Sarah & Stephanie Kelly Technical developers: Developers: Andrew Sammons, Shaun Ervine, Naden Franciscus, Michael Gillies, Chaise Hocking and Asaf Amit Business Analysts: Nouman Riaz and Phillip McKenzie Testers: Carmen Labrador, Vaidhegi Venkataraghavan, Dhany Tie, Juby James, Jasmeet Sehgal, Prue Antoni and Sharon Antovski Analytics: Christopher Mason and Denise Yeung
In August 2011 Whereis® released its app for the iPhone® providing free voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation to take users to their destination. The app also allows consumers to easily find addresses, businesses and places of interest in Australia and display them on a map.Once the user has found what they’re looking for they can find out more information and call the business, get directions and let the free navigation feature take them directly to that location.
To provide an engaging and easy-to-use local search application that is based around maps and the user’s location, which also combines a navigation application.
Extend upon the existing Whereis® Online and Mobile product and feature set by providing a tailored iPhone® user experience that is market leading, innovative and user friendly.
Extend the reach of Sensis’ advertisers, demonstrating real value to those advertisers by allowing customers to find advertisers on another device, and by connecting them directly to customers through a phone call, email or navigating them right to their door.
Capitalise on the growth of mobile by tapping into the massive iPhone® user base to grow its usage.
Enhance the Whereis® brand in market.
Highly connected consumers within Australia who are one of the following:
Existing Whereis® users – Gives current Whereis® users another reason to engage with the brand through another device.
Lapsed Whereis® users – Improved user experience and navigation features makes Whereis® relevant to users that previously engaged with Whereis® but are now using other products.
Non Whereis® users – Improved user experience and navigation features give users that have never engaged with Whereis® a reason to use Whereis® in a new context.
The product also targets consumers that are satisfied with a basic but free navigation experience to allow them to get to their destination, but are not willing to pay for the “premium” features you receive when purchasing a typical paid-for navigation device or application.
Project Innovation / Need
Our research indicates that although users valued the comprehensiveness of the Yellow Pages® and Whereis® datasets, they wanted more than just traditional directions. The team set out to include voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, but still make the app free to users.
The new Whereis® iPhone application provides users with the ability to Perform a local business search - then have voice-guided navigation take you to your destination.
Multitask - Play music whilst navigating.
Access the phonebook – integration with the phone’s contact book so they can easily display or navigate to their address.
Location hints – users now receive more tailored results based on either the map they are currently looking at, or relevant to their current location. This means Whereis® is more likely to produce a more accurate result, rather than presenting back a big list of possibilities.
The key innovation in the Whereis® iPhone app is the model it employed to bring voice guided turn-by-turn navigation to the market giving users a reason to use over the pre-loaded offering available on the iPhone, free of charge.
Being part of the Yellow Pages® business provided the Whereis® team access to one of the largest advertiser bases in Australia. The challenge was to integrate those very advertisers in a way that was useful to a user. When a user conducts a search, their organic results display on the map, with one of the Sensis Priority Advertisers also displaying. A user can then navigate to that business.
The Whereis® iPhone app offers a unique mapping experience combining search, directions and spoken turn-by-turn navigation in one simple, intuitive interface.
Whereis® created a map-centric gestural interface that allowed the team to explore new approaches to old conventions. These engaging interactions included swiping through the business profile pages and allowing the user to navigate through their chosen route using the slick directions slider. The periphery was kept free of clutter by providing contextual options and menus.
User testing early in the design process was essential. Paper-based prototypes enabled evaluations of a number of concepts such as the slider, crucial elements like spoken turn-by-turn directions and even down to the effectiveness of icons.
The turn-by-turn directions brought with it an entirely new set of challenges. While it had to seamlessly work with the rest of the app, the design needed to be read and understood quickly and at a distance, not to mention operate hands free.
At the core of the experience is the Whereis® brand values: knowledgeable, trustworthy, efficient, helpful, dependable, intuitive with individual choice. These values were integrated by creating a highly polished visual style for the application that felt solid, took advantage of the capabilities of the IOS environment and, more importantly, was simple and easy to use.
All of these are important considerations in crafting a positive experience